Eveline de Klerk
SWAKOPMUND – The driver of the Unitrans fuel tanker carrying 30,000 litres of fuel that was gutted by fire last week Tuesday between Omaruru and Kalkfeld has been arrested.
He is being charged with malicious damage to property after Unitrans laid a charge over the weekend.
The fuel tanker was worth N$3.5 million, while the 30,000 litres of fuel is estimated to be worth about N$400, 000.
The truck carrying fuel for Namcor, as well as a Zambian fish truck, mysteriously burned to ruin at a resting place for truckers some 20 km from Omaruru.
The Unitrans driver allegedly parked and decided to sleep as his truck was experiencing problems with speed. He claims that he heard a loud sound like an explosion, after which he jumped off the truck and hiked to Otjiwarongo. He claims he never saw another truck at the resting site.
Crime investigations coordinator for the Erongo police, Deputy Commissioner Erastus Iikuyu yesterday told New Era that Unitrans over the weekend laid a charge against the driver who was arrested yesterday in Walvis Bay.
The case is registered in Omaruru and the suspect is expected to make his first appearance tomorrow in the Omaruru Magistrate’s Court.
The fire raised suspicion as it was not the first time a fuel truck caught fire. Both drivers left the scene before police arrived, fuelling further suspicion.
The Unitrans truck driver was later found in Otjiwarongo without any injuries by the police. The whereabouts of the Zambian driver are still unknown.